Immokalee Workers win global anti-slavery award

November 12th, 2007 | by Andrew Ó Baoill |

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers are doing important work across a range of areas. I first came across them in connection with their founding of WCIW, an LPFM station serving farm-workers in Florida.They are also well-known for their work to gain extra income for workers through putting pressure on companies like Taco Bell, MacDonalds, and Burger King. Last year they succceeded in ‘persuading’ Yum Brands (parent company of Taco Bell) to pay an extra fee for their tomatoes, to directly benefit farm-workers. Early this year McDonalds caved just as CIW was due to announce a boycott of that company. Burger King is still holding out.Now word comes of recognition of an award for another aspect of CIW’s work:

Anti-Slavery International (ASI), the world’s oldest international human rights organization, has announced that the 2007 Anti-Slavery Award will be awarded to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers! The award highlights the CIW’s work to uncover and prevent forced labor in the U.S. agricultural industry and comes in the year that Anti-Slavery International celebrates the 200th anniversary of Britain’s abolition of the transatlantic slave trade.

CIW aren’t just sitting on their laurels:

The award is a timely reminder of the unconscionable conditions in Florida’s fields and why it is so important for companies like Burger King to work with the CIW to ensure fair treatment for those who pick their tomatoes. If you haven’t already, make plans to join us on November 30th for a 9-mile march to Burger King Headquarters in Miami! 

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